Hugelkultur. The raised bed started.

Little written plan for layering. The Kaweco pair of fountain pens, Brass and Bronze Sport, here too.

Because Spring gardening has now arrived again, activities and inner thoughts explode. Exciting stuff.

Beech tree logs. Cut side placed face up. Packed surrounding spaces with riddled garden soil. Packed down tightly into surrounding gaps by tamping with a wooden pole. Stops mice nesting in the gaps.

To re-experience events from the past year and a half gardening endeavours allows further inspirations. The good vibes of achieving a better looking garden are starting over. A desire for those ‘satisfaction resulting from witnessing improvements’ need to be felt again. Although it was really hard work over the last year and a half, it was actually a gentle time. Working under a sky of sunshine filled days again.

The current DIY indoor experiences have become almost over and done. A whisker kissker away. Shopping in Worcester, England over the last few days brought some art for the walls, throws for the seating, plant pots and rugs for the floors. So the little finishing touches to get comfortable in the house are being realised and now it’s time to transfer energies into the garden.

Social inclusions need expanding to other areas too. The wooden raised bed is now full of established herbs.

Hopes for the immediate future this year would be to realise a balance for the garden. We are lucky enough to have the lower garden space and then steps up to the ‘top garden’. Ideas do exist for both spaces. But often, due to my wife working full time, it’s myself getting on with it. Difficult at times to garner motivation when your body is saying ‘Hold on a minute! Your getting on in whisker years’.

Anyways. Firstly. The desire to provide activity with growing foods and planting more shrubs/plants/trees. Read organic and eco friendly philosophies and apply them as best we can. Encourage wildlife into the garden. Recycling ideology too.

Secondly. Create a more social provision by building areas to allow visitors to relax. A garden ideal that includes the ability to living outdoor life opportunities from the summer to winter periods. Invitations to visit and involve familiar faces from past social inclusions from long ago. Pre-Covid basically. Find ideas to put in place with new determination. Enough seating for just chilling and relaxing, evening fires in round metal containers/chiminea/baskets or a circle of stones as fire pits. Wooden framed gazebo covered with greenery to sit under and an arbour or two to sit inside.

Yesterday continued the ‘slog work’ with filling the very long and fairly deep raised bed with heavy logs. The decision was made to fill with the Hugelkultur philosophy. (There are very many good site links out there in internet land). So the logs seen here, in both the above and below photographs, were brought up from front of house to top garden. Heavy task walking up the steps carrying them though. The old Beech tree, having been cut down a few years ago, provided an appropriate hard wood log base. The left over pile of beech logs to be used for future burning in the chiminea, etc.

Logs help lower need for watering. Earth packed and tightly tampered in between.

Hugelkultur relies on specific percentage layerings and there is much advice on the internet of what and what not to include. Luckily, the earth in our garden is dark and rich. Apples and damsons having fallen and been left have provided this outcome. Next to the raised bed is a mound of such soil from digging exertions around the garden last year. We riddled in this earth yesterday to pack in between the layer out logs. Then packed it down into the spaces to avoid gaps between the logs. We did not want either rodents nestingwithin the wood gaps or moisture from rain or self watering filtering quickly through the layers to the bottom ground base and wasted.

Last year started. Now full to top.

5% cardboard; done with a ground cover membrane pulled up the side. A foot high. 

45% logs/earth; beech wood laid cut side up/bark to side. Earth from our soil. 

10% brash and plant cuttings (much lies around the garden from shedding damson trees, fruit tree leaves, herbs and appropriate shrub leaves and cuttings. Brash also lay in the ‘dead hedge’ made last year;

10% compost material, manure. Very little available at present. Will fall through and fill brash spaces. 

30% top organic soil. Probably a mix of a few decent quality bought compost bags with our dark rich garden earth. Providing an aerated soil ideal for oxygen to get at the roots.

The membrane ground cover to the left will have bark chippings covering. It was placed inside the bed a little and folded up on the inside wall. This will hopefully deter any mice getting under the base area and building a home!

9 thoughts on “Hugelkultur. The raised bed started.”

    1. It’s not a big garden really. We have slate walls separating us from fields leading up back to deciduous woodland, forestry and high hills. So open aspects exist that seem like space exists. We look out front to the distant sea and dunes/bay over more fields and peat bog lands too. On a main road though, so accessible to get out if snow is a problem. Only once in nearly 30 years here. Haven’t been catching up with fave bloggers over the last five days. Visited my daughter and the grandkids in Worcester. Hope you had a lovely tea shop afternoon. Looking forward to your description. And fingers crossed for your own weather conditions too. Thank you Brenda.

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      1. That’s a shame. But, as you say, another day to look forward to. Strange days currently though. Worcester was noticeably expensive eating out! The game of socialising and having treats has change somewhat. All the best Brenda.

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  1. I updated our “garden” based on Hugelkultur a couple years ago. I used much smaller pieces of wood. Ok, I used branches. Anyway, it took 2 years but when I plant vegitables they grow like weeds. I had a singloe tomato plant last year that was 8 feet wide and 5 feet high. I still am eating the preserved tomatos. Each year since I take many of the leaves that fall, crush them and turn over the top 6 inches of soil adding the leaves.

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    1. That’s a great insight. Good to see your success with the growing method. May have a chance myself then. I have a book by Huw Richards called Veg in One Bed. It’s a month by month format, so will start as soon as possible. Hopefully upping the composting intentions too. Cheers for the advice.

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      1. I would consider splitting those logs, but who wants to chop wood. The tomatos and squash (courgette) have been wild. My hot peppers and beans do well. Keep in mind, it took 2 years before I noticed a real difference. Best of luck.

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      2. Cheers Danny. There are smaller branches put on top of the logs which are mixed with brash twigs. So they will be smaller. The logs at the bottom are okay size wise because they’re only there to hold moisture. I’ve seen a fair few YouTube videos and they last for years and years if larger and hardwood. Sounds like you have a huge success rate growing good quantities. 2 years is okay. Angie is selling organic fruit and vegetables in her shop now. So can have good quality choice. This raised bed is about 13 feet long, and about 3 and a half feet high. So hopefully, like yourself, I will be able to grow a good choice too.

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